Over ear kopfhörer test 2020

wie you’re looking zu get ns most out von your music, a great pair of headphones kann make all die difference. Over-ear headphones, at times affectionately referred kommen sie as cans, tun können give freundin some von the best sound. Yet with such bei abundance des options, it’s notfall always easy to find ns pair that’ll fit your needs. How do sie ensure she getting the best quality? And, if you on a budget, which persons strike the best balance betwee cost and quality?

Well, we’re here to answer those questions weil das you. Us continually prüfung the latest und greatest headphone offerings together they kommen sie onto die market (evidenced here, as our oberteil overall pick, Sony’s recent over-ear cans, oase unseated our previous oberteil choice, the company’s older XM3s). We rate each pair based upon sound quality, build, comfort and more. After ~ jamming out to countless playlists over die past sechs months, here is our current list von the finest over-ear headphones:

Sony WH-1000XM4
Best as whole over-ear headphones


Sony’s WH-1000XM4s proved kommen sie be die best over-ear cans. Merely put: They fully outperformed the rest of our experimentation pool in terms of sound quality, comfort, battery life und noise cancellation.

Du schaust: Over ear kopfhörer test 2020

$349.99 $248 at amazonas
Jabra elite 85h
Best over-ear wireless headphones


Jabra upstream 85h
For running, working out und just getting in the zone, our runner up, the Jabra elite 85h, hit all die right notes. Despite they’re on ns bulkier side, they oase a great control scheme for exercise, special large, easy-to-locate taste on ns right cup.

$249.99 $149.99 at amazonas
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Most comfortable


Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
If you need headphones that tun können be worn on lang walks, intercontinental flights or nur around ns house, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are ours go-to weil das comfort. Yes sir some severe memory foam plush in both die ear cups und top headband.

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$379 hinweisen Bose
JBL direkte 650BTNC
Best budget over-ear headphones


JBL direkt 650BTNC
JBL’s live 650TNC shined as our worth pick. Die JBL cans organized our attention v clear playback von vocals (no artifacts like crackling), punchy drums and in impressive three-dimensional soundstage.

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$224.95 $159.95 punkt JBL

A depths dive into die winners

Best overall over-ear headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 ($348; amazon.com)


the seems choose Sony’s recipe for the WH-1000XM4s was zu keep whatever that was great about the WH-1000XM3s, then include a dash von smart features kommen sie truly outmatch all headphones in their class. Namely, it’s the XM4s’ boosted chip und processing capabilities, i m sorry work in tandem kommen sie upscale audio in real time — without presenting latency on ns track or large changes to ns original EQ mix — the make them die best over-ear headphones zu date.

The WH-1000XM4s produce crisp und clear audio — die way music should be, no matter the monitor you’re hearne to. Sony’s been known for dimensionality in the headphone space, which remains true here. Hear to “I’m top top Fire” by Bruce Springsteen makes sie feel together if you’re bei the recording studio, v his soft, warm vocals flowing roughly you. The instruments lying in ~ those vocals to be easy kommen sie make out, even if it is it was ns constant pattering des the drums or each distinct guitar riff. A bass-heavy track like “Bad Guy” felt solid und raw, v vocals that came v clear on oberteil without any kind of reverb — a sign that the bass, when powerful, no causing issues with hardware.

Noise cancellation zu sein just as mainly as die audio quality. Compared with the other headphones in our experimentation group, ns XM4s to be better punkt reducing higher-pitched frequencies, such as arguments about what’s for dinner or also loud next-door neighbors talking outside your window. An our prüfung with a TV und a washing machine, the XM4s reduced die sounds to light background noise, even with no music. A backing track resulted bei outside ambiance being fully blocked out.

und you’ll be able kommen sie enjoy that class-leading sound high quality all job long and then part — as the XM4s survived zum up zu 30 hours off a einzel charge throughout our testing. Together we walk with the other headphones top top this list, us put the battery life von the XM4s to ns test. Two separate times, us locked die volume kommen sie 75%, set playback zu a normal EQ mix, and played with a 32-hour playlist. Ns WH-1000XM4s lasted exactly 30 hours, top top average. Once they execute run out of juice, your quick-charging capabilities will get you bei hour von playback after nur 10 minutes of charging.

ns XM4s’ comfort i will not ~ hamper that lang life, either. They don’t feel tight around the ear or ns top von the head. That’s because, contrasted with die older XM3s, Sony doubled down on padding bei both areas. Ns ear cups feel fairly spongy und don’t result in the plastic build von the WH-1000XM4s pressing hard against your skull. Die padding at the top reduces pressure that some other headphones can apply. We were quickly able kommen sie wear these zum 12-hour sessions without any kind of noticeable discomfort.

No matte which von our experimentation categories freundin consider, the WH-1000XM4s are pretty much the gelb standard zum what over-ear headphones must be. Battery life lasts much longer than most, sound ist robust v even much more clarity than any kind of headphones we tested and their distraction-busting noise cancellation capabilities are a cherry top top top. Punkt $349.99, this aren’t ns cheapest option, however thanks zu their future-proofing audio upscaling, ns pair will tonnage you quite some time.

Best over-ear wireless headphones: Jabra upstream 85h ($249.99; amazon.com)

The Jabra elite 85h are a durable set of headphones priced at $249.99. Our overall score zum these can be ~ was the same as die Sony WH-1000XM3, except with a bit of a various distribution von points. These dropped slightly short von the Sony cans in sound, comfort und ANC, yet surpassed them in build quality, on-device controls und warranty.

There room several factors that placed these headphones at die top zum working out. Firstly, if there is no IPX rating (a widely supplied metric von which a device’s water resistance zu sein measured) kommen sie be found, Jabra does case these space dust- und water-resistant. In spite of lacking this rating, us drizzled water on the Elite 85h for almost a minute and they came out unscathed. In addition zu their one-year restricted warranty, they schutz a different two-year warranty weil das dust- und water-related damage.

us tested these to run both outdoors and indoors, und while the entwurf is fairly bulky, castle sit steady on the head. The top eis is wrapped with a rather firm cushion und fine mesh the rests comfortably however securely on her head. Ns ear cups offer the same for sure cushioning, pack around die entire ear with comparable results. Suggest being: these never fell off during our testing, despite notfall feeling too many tight. Their eventually secure, bulky build kann sein be condensed down into die included transferring bag, with both cups folding inward zum portability.

und about those earcups: We deshalb appreciated die controls from a fitness perspective. The taste on ns right cup, large and easy kommen sie navigate without much thought — a win wie you’re running — serve core attributes like music playback and phone calls. (Conversely, we experienced a bit of fumbling about with ns touch controls on the Sony WH-1000XM4 und the Bose 700.)

Additionally, on other headphones the relied on taste on die side or center von the earcups (JBL direkt 650BTNC und Beats Studio 3), the controls weren’t together easy zu locate on die fly. Some headphones (such as die Beats Studio 3 and Skullcandy Crusher ANC) even produce audible feedback when you niederdrücken their buttons. Jabra do sure zu include cushioning roughly the taste on ns Elite 85h zu dampen this drastically.

bei general, we discovered that the Jabra elite 85h felt sturdier und had a far better control scheme than die WH-1000XM3s. Ns latter use the entire best cup as a touch control, which kann sein lead zu some accidental lied skips or phone call hangups. Ns Elite 85h, on ns other hand, use large tasten that space easy to locate. Their battery life deshalb lasts 36 hours, beating out Sony’s 30.

bei terms des sound, ns Jabra elite 85h ceded a comparable quality zu Sony’s, made even closer über Jabra’s substantial Sound+ app (available zum iOS und Android). Die bass of the upstream 85h zu sein satisfyingly deep, but doesn’t reach quite the same studio-quality depth as that von the Sony headphones. We so noted that die sound felt contempt flatter on the Elite 85h. That did not necessarily endure on three-dimensional sound, yet it go feel much more compressed, notably reducing die maximum tones it was able kommen sie reproduce. V a tradition equalizer in the app focused specifically on bass, ns quality gap actually closed kommen sie a suggest where quality was comparable. Still, this did notfall fix the compression issues.

and to put it lightly, we loved the Sound+ app, in which you’ll find an equalizer kommen sie customize your sound through presets that produce notable boosts to vocals and bass. Over there are countless settings obtainable as well, such together toggling on-ear detection, which detects whether ns headphones space on your head and pausing music when you take it them off. Pretty neat, right? You kann even set hoch Find mine Jabra to get a rough location on wherein your headphones are if freundin lose track of them.

Jabra’s elite 85h promised 36 hours von battery life, und we put it kommen sie the test with a 40-hour playlist. Us connected die headphones and let die music play weist 75% volume. They lasted for the complete 36 hours, and then part — quite impressive!

Most Comfortable: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 ($379; amazon.com)

wie man it comes zu comfort, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 topped our list. Though their $399.95 preis point is on the steep end, die pair’s ergonomic nature and exceptional sound quality still made lock one von our standout picks.

ns foam lining within ns headband und ear cups is designed with especially comfortable layers von memory foam cushioning. That produces virtually zero pressure, to ns point it’s virtually like put on nothing. Ns Bose 700s are capable des ample expansion on the ear cups, enabling these to fit heads von almost any kind of size. Zum those who liebe portability, though, the ear cups don’t fold in. Und while Bose does incorporate a carrying case, you’ll schutz to settle for their unravelled size.

die Bose headphones don’t skimp top top sound or noise-canceling, either. Bei fact, castle scored just below the Sony WH-1000XM4s bei both categories. We uncovered that soundstage und compression quality were similar zu those of Sony’s cans. Both headphones readily available clear piano, saxophone and drums on our testing track “Jazz Crimes” von Joshua Redman. And while the sound wasn’t fairly as crisp und the base wasn’t fairly as extreme as ns Sony cans, we were blieb impressed through what they might put out. Listening to “Might it is in Right” von White Reaper, ns drums and vocals didn’t come through with quite as much definition as they go on the Sony headphones. Ns bass on “Bad Guy” von Billie Eilish is also a klein step down bei depth und intensity. Regardless of these young shortcomings, you’re ausblüten getting a well balanced mix that’s an extremely enjoyable.

If you’re someone who mögen to customize die experience via a companion app, you won’t find that through Bose. The anwendung itself ist quite bare, significantly lacking in equalizer feature. That a letdown, especially at this price point. Dafür if you’re looking kommen sie boost ns bass or vocals, freundin simply can’t; the app’s primary use is toggling Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode. That being said, these settings excel on ns Bose 700s. Transparency mode is especially kühl as it amplifies neighboring sound so you kann sein hear better. Inversely, wie you’re ~ above a phone call, the microphones do twin duty von lowering environmental noise und amplifying her voice. There zu sein no customization zu modify this feature.

bei the end, the Bose 700s deliver a construct that’s unmatched in comfort. They feature a seamless contemporary design, which, unless you’re ~ above a ninja mission, might do through a pop of color from die silver or white und gold varieties. You so won’t be disappointed with ns balanced sound experience and ample battery life. Nur know that weil das $399.99, you paying for premium comfort.

Best budget plan over-ear headphones: JBL direkt 650BTNC $129.95, originally $199.95; jbl.com)

The JBL direkt 650BTNC provides the most worth out von all ns headphones us tested.

die JBL cans didn’t lose too many points in the sound department. Together they’re blieb high-end headphones, they deliver crisp sound, falling in line with the Bose 700. In fact, they scored better than the Beoplay H9s, which cost more than twice as much. We also loved the vocals from these, performing nur below the epic quality of the Bose 700 und Sony WH-1000XM4. Unfortunately, they suffer rather on compression and bass. In terms des the former, we discovered that die higher and lower range of sound was limited contrasted to the Beats Studio 3 and the WH-1000XM4. This was especially prominent in “Jazz Crimes” über Joshua Redman, wherein ns higher saxophone notes seemed zu mix together and became muted.

wie it comes to bass, ns JBLs to be average. They came out much less deep than devices like ns Beats Studio 3, und produced less kick than die WH-1000XM4. On die flipside, while listening to “Bad Guy” by Billie Elish, die bassy beat that repeats zum the totality track came with slightly muddled. That being said, these concerns are fairly minor. Die 650BTNC ausblüten put out bass that was about as deep as much more expensive choose like ns Bose 700 and Jabra elite 85h. They also sport an impressive soundstage, bringing out instrument placement and vocals nearly as well as the WH-1000XM4.

die companion JBL Headphones app tries zu perfect these setbacks with specific sound profiles. What we found was that lock overemphasized what lock sought zu improve. Bei other words, die bass sound profile made ns bass overpowering, i m sorry drowned the end some of the subtler notes, which kann steal some thunder from the vocals. Wie you look at die bass sound profile, it increases the lower frequencies to the extreme. These alters result in the base being way too strong. If you’re looking zu tweak die bass, shot creating your very own custom sound profile v less excessive changes zum better results.

The 650BTNC headphones have a sleek, reasonably minimal design. Ns headband and its cushion ist covered in mesh, which zu sein interesting top top a intuitive level. Inside zu sein a metal bar with a an excellent amount des flexibility, allowing it to bend generously and fit large heads. The cushion the rests on your head zu sein pretty thin, und can result an a tight feel. Follow me with ns headphones’ relatively firm ear cup cushioning, ns JBL can be ~ aren’t ideal zum long usage, deswegen they lost some points zum comfort. Despite the weaker areas, these headphones ausblüten blew several much more expensive devices out of the water and significantly outperformed the Plantronics BackBeat zum 2, which share their preis point.

how we tested

die testing process weil das these headphones was a rigorous one. We wanted zu put lock through the paces of normal use, focusing on what would be most necessary to ns user. We examined design und comfort over time, learned every control, listened zu various music genres, tested out ns active noise cancellation und noise isolation, put ns batteries to the test and read hoch on warranties. Throughout die process, us cross-compared these functions with whichever headphones were best in the category.

review on zum the categories und their breakdowns.

Sound quality

Build quality: We determined ns quality des the products from which each device was built, examined exactly how they were put together und looked at visual design. To test the build, we checked how flexible the headband was and looked right into what material, together as metal or plastic, held the headphones together. We so checked whether die earcups folded bei for portability, and took a look at at the layout des controls and how taste felt to press. Visually, us looked at bulkiness, texture and overall design. Ear cups: We wore ns headphones for in extended period von time kommen sie determine whether ear cups felt tight end time. We so noted even if it is they to be sufficiently comfortable, to the point the one could forget they also had castle on. Headband: We wore the headphones for an extended period of time to determine whether die headband feel tight in time or developed localized pressure. This is where we detailed headband flexibility, too, and also whether ns open back headphones were comfortable enough to leichten from ours concentration. Overall comfort: This subcategory combined ear cups und headband notes. We deshalb looked at whether tightness arisen over time bei the area where die headband and ear cup were connected.
Controls: We learned and tested every control to find out whether controls were easy zu understand und how intuitive it was kommen sie control playback, calls, volume, Bluetooth pairing und toggling functions like ANC. Finally, we provided whether or notfall there was a voice-narrating control, such together stating “ANC on” wie man turning top top noise cancellation. Bluetooth connectivity: We tested ns latency des controls betwee the headphones and the device to which they to be paired. We also measured how quickly the headphones, after being turned on, reconnected kommen sie a maker with which lock were previously paired. Finally, we confirm whether die headphones might be connected zu multiple devices weist once. Companion app: If headphones had actually a companion app, we explored the options that the anwendung provided. Some examples are displaying battery percentage, toggling or an altering ANC level, presenting custom sound profiles und the ability kommen sie make her own and setting a standby timer. Essentially, ns more control bei app provided, the better. Ports: We tested whether the ports on each pair des headphones functioned. Controls off-device: This subcategory an unified Bluetooth connectivity and companion apps notes. We then confirm which clever assistants can be used, if any. We deshalb took a look punkt whether an AUX cord was included und whether it had a control kasten on it. If the did, we looked right into how viel control this provided.
Usage time: We developed a playlist with a variety des genres such as jazz, rock, pop, rap, classical und EDM, amongst others, to determine battery life. Each pair von headphones got a playlist that was about two hrs longer 보다 its purported battery life. Us then ran them through their corresponding playlist weist 75% volume v ANC off. Quick charge: Quick charge ist a attribute wherein charging a device weil das a short period von time wollen restore a lot of battery life. Zum the modell that supported this feature, we calculated die percentage of battery they received within ns time they advertised a rapid charge takes. Overall: This subcategory merged usage time and quick charge notes. We wanted zu simply get die picture von which gadgets had both great battery und quick fee functionality.
Pure ANC: We figured out how well die ANC of each pair of headphones dampened umwelt sound. We created two according to conditions to test: running on a treadmill with a TV on high volume nearby und sitting next to bei active washing machine. This section also required intensive cross-comparison zu figure the end which headphones to be dampening an ext sound, und what range des sound was being affected.
Warranty: We researched what warranty/warranties were available for each device. Warranties with much more years ~ above them, or tools with more than one available, scored better.

exactly how we rated

Using the procedures defined above, we offered each pair von headphones scores in each subcategory. The combined jahrgangsstufen of this subcategories made up their respective category’s maximum possible scores. Below, us quickly break down these allude systems.

Sound quality had a maximum of 40 points: bass (10 points), compression (5 points), soundstage (5 points) und overall (20 points). Features/usability had a maximum des 30 points: controls on-device (5 points), Bluetooth connectivity (5 points), companion apps (5 points), ports (5 points) and controls off-device (10 points). Design had a maximum von 25 points: build top quality (10 points), earcups (5 points), headband (5 points) und overall comfort (5 points). Battery had a maximum of 20 points: usage time (10 points), fast charge (5 points) und overall (5 points) ANC had a maximum von 5 points: pure ANC (5 points) Warranty had a maximum des 5 points: Warranty (5 points)

most importantly, this points were assigned price-blind. This way, ns cost von each headphone i will not ~ introduce prejudice into our ratings. After ns final jahrgangsstufen were tallied, us layered bei price to determine ns value that ns headphones provided.

kommen sie work out ideal comfort, we focused on ns comfort subcategories within design. Wie man it came zu best weil das working out, us gathered notes from features/usability, battery, ANC and design. Indigenous design, we mostly pulled elements that befit working out favor water resistance and how securely ns cans were while running.

Lastly, weil das best value, we took a close watch at the pricing des each model. Us then developed a graph that enabled us zu compare gesamt scores und prices at the same time. In the end, the JBL live 650BTNC tied v the Plantronics BackBeat zum 2 at nur under $200 each, but ns JBL headphones scored significantly higher, deswegen they won die category.

various other over-ear headphones we tested

Beats Studio 3 Wireless (starting weist $272.46; bhphotovideo.com)

ns $349.95 beats Studio 3 Wireless room a great set von headphones overall. They were one des the finest on the list about sound, tie with ns Bose 700 und Beoplay H9 weil das second ar behind die WH-1000XM3. Und while they look simply beautiful, they landed in the lower range an terms von comfort, an especially on ns headband. We so didn’t love the control button on ns earcup — not because of the manage scheme, but due to the fact that it makes a according to clicking sound at any time you drücken sie it.

Beoplay H4 ($250.56, originally $300; amazon.com)

ns $300 Beoplay H4 are in entry-level set of headphones that zeigen off Bang & Olufsen’s craftsmanship. The sound high quality overall was lower 보다 many des the headphones on our list, und they carry out not have active noise cancellation. An terms von design, though, castle are an the upper half. What we liked the most around these headphones is their aesthetic quality. They’re made v high-quality plastic, metal and cushioning, with in easy-on-the-eyes entwurf (e.g., circular metal caps on ns earcups). It’s worth noting that on calls, the recipient can hear in echo des themselves.

Beoplay H9 (starting at $429.99; amazon.com)

ns $499 Beoplay H9 space wireless noise cancelling headphones that supply a significant upgrade an sound top quality over die Beoplay H4. Among ns improvements is much far better bass, much less compression and a broader soundstage. Notfall to point out they oase good active noise cancellation. And though castle share die beauty and build quality of the H4, lock regressed top top controls und comfort. Us found ns touch controls kommen sie be frustrating zu use, und the comfort, particularly on the headband, took a far-ranging dive. Together was ns case with ns H4, call recipients can hear an echo von themselves.

Bose QuietComfort 35 ii (Starting at $199.99, initially $299.99; bose.com or amazon.com)

the $349.95 Bose QuietComfort 35 ii were some des our favorites that us tested. The construction quality von the headphones zu sein high, and they’re quite comfortable, too. Not only that, but they so sport exceptional sound and ANC, only falling short bei the base category. Additionally we really favored the buttons on this headphones; unlike most others that employ buttons, the QuietComfort 35 II schutz solid embedded buttons that develop virtually no noise.

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 ($399.99; amazon.com)

die $399.99 Bowers & Wilkins PX7 received a approximately average score but stood solid on sound quality and battery life. Und while all at once sound high quality on die device was very good, us were many impressed with ns bass. They put out satisfyingly deep bass with a great kick kommen sie it. Lock were so one des a handful of headphones to kommen sie through with 30 hours des battery life. Unfortunately, these headphones aren’t die most comfortable and are one von the bulkier pairs us assessed.

Plantronics BackBeats zum 2 ($149.99, initially $199; amazon.com)

die $199.99 Plantronics BackBeats jeden 2 bound with die JBL live 650BTNC ~ above price, yet did notfall hold up kommen sie their counterpart bei most categories. Bei terms von sound, ns BackBeats zum 2 verified potential v decent in its entirety quality yet did notfall perform as well as others ~ above bass, compression or soundstage. Unfortunately, call quality was very low; one recipient explained it as sounding like we were underwater. However these go score contempt higher an comfort than ns JBL headphones. Also, us really enjoyed the unique volume controls, which operate similar zu a rotary phone.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC (starting weist $212.49, initially $319.99; amazon.com)

die $319.99 Skullcandy Crusher ANC to be our the very least favorite amongst those us tested. A main feature of these headphones ist a bass slider top top one of the cups. Wie it’s at ns lowest setting, the bass ist weak, however as sie increase it, ns bass becomes an ext intense and vibrates the headphones. This nur felt favor a gimmick — the didn’t feel like ns bass was getting better as much as it just vibrates your head. Sound was generally somewhat weak, especially an soundstage. Die Skullcandy app, however, actually bump up die sound quality thanks to its practice sound profiles. Ns Crusher ANC also scored listed below average ~ above comfort.

Sony WH-1000XM3 ($348; amazon.com)

These were our previous champs, und it took bei exceptional pair des over-ear headphones to knock out the XM3s. And while this headphones are quickly being sunsetted, part retailers still have them in stock. They offer a robust soundstage, 30-hour battery life und the ability kommen sie block out ns world. This don’t schutz all ns smarts or the ultra comfortable padding of the XM4s, yet if you tun können snag lock on sale, they’re certainly worth it.

Note: ns prices above reflect the retailer’s provided prices at ns time of publication.